The Crowne Plaza Singapore Changi Airport is the best transit hotel in the world according to Skytrax. Alison Godfrey spent a night in the hotel with her family of four.
“Mum, look! You can see the planes land”
It’s just before 6 am and my two children are lying flat on the green carpeted floor of our hotel room with their noses pressed up against the floor-to-ceiling glass window.
The view has had them captivated for the last 15 minutes. Amelie, 8, is trying to take photos of the planes to show her friends. Callum, 10, is pointing out the different airline companies.
We checked into the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport at 8 pm after a Scoot Flight from Sydney to Singapore. Our connecting flight to Laos wasn’t until 9am the next morning, so we needed a place to sleep for the night. Pre-kids, we may have slept in the airport. These days, that is never going to happen.
The Crowne Plaza Changi Airport won the title of the best airport hotel in the world at the 2019 Skytrax awards.
From the moment we entered the hotel it was easy to see why.
The Crowne Plaza Changi Airport has impeccable furnishing, world-class service and large comfortable rooms with deep relaxing bathtubs.
But the kids tell me their favourite things were the view, the pool and the delicious buffet breakfast.
The pool certainly has the wow factor, particularly at night when the lighting creates a magical effect.
As you swim, turquoise light swirls around you, like phosphorescence or an aurora. I watched astounded as my daughter jumped in and the ripples encircling her glowed as she swam towards me.
Tall palm trees loom over the centre of the pool, shading a network of canals with bench seats hidden in nooks and crannies. For adults, it offers a dash of privacy. For kids, it screams “hide and seek”.
At one end a series of bridges cross a glass floor and, if you look down, you can see down into the lobby below.
After a swim, we headed to the lobby bar for a quick snack before bed. The lobby bar is dimly lit, calm and quiet. It has large couches, big wooden shared tables and warm glowing lanterns. The outdoor tropical terrace is shaded by palms and frangipani trees. We ordered crispy popcorn chicken, calamari and samosas. I had a mojito that was just the right amount of sweet, sour and minty.
Our room on the 9th floor had a King bed and a rollaway. Callum took the rollaway and Amelie bunked in between my husband and I. Given the time difference and the swim, we were all out like a light.
The Azur breakfast buffet opens at 6 am. And we were there pretty soon after. The buffet has western and Asian style breakfast with everything from bacon and eggs and waffles with maple syrup to rice and steamed buns on offer. You can try traditional masala tea, order a decent coffee and have an omelette made fresh by the talented chefs. The buffet even has vegemite at the Spices bar.
The final word has to go to the kids.
“Do we have to go?” Amelie asks. ” “This is the best hotel I have ever been in.”.
The hotel is next door to Terminal Three of Singapore Changi Airport. Exit immigration at T3 and the walk to the hotel takes less than three minutes. From Terminal 1, you can take the free Changi Airport Skytrain to T3. This trip will take about four minutes. If you arrive at T2, you can walk to T3 in about 5 minutes. From Terminal 4, you can catch the complimentary 24-hour shuttle bus service between T4 and T2 and then walk the rest of the way. The entrance to the MRT is just outside the Crown Plaza which gives you easy access to the city attractions if you have time.
Why we stayed there:
We booked a Scoot flight to Laos which has a 14.5 hour overnight layover in Singapore. That’s too long to hang around the airport, and too little time to head out into Singapore. Skytrax rated Crowne Plaza Singapore Changi the “best transit hotel in the world” so we thought we would check it out. The kids’ criteria were the hotel had to have a pool and buffet breakfast.
We stayed in a Premier King room with a runway view. The room had a rollaway bed for the kids and most importantly, WiFi. The kids really loved watching the planes from the room. The bathroom had a gorgeous deep bath with a view out the window. For discretion, you can pull down a blind.
Wow! This hotel was so fun for kids. The tropical palm-fringed outdoor pool was an absolute highlight. The kids had their swimmers ready to go as soon as our flight landed at Changi.
You can book an outdoor exercise class at East Coast Beach Park (15 minutes by car) or use the on-site gym. The gym has rowing machines, treadmills, exercise bikes, free weights and elliptical machines. It’s a great way to get the blood flowing again after sitting still for eight hours.
A massage and body scrub at the hotel’s Essence Vale spa (open 10am to 10pm) is an unbelievable way to relax in between flights. The spa uses all natural and organic products. If you don’t have loads of time – you could just get a manicure or pedicure.
Singapore Changi Airport has been ranked as the best airport in the world for seven years in a row. Inside you will find a butterfly garden, a sunflower garden, a giant slide and a pool. In 2019, Changi also plans to instal a 40-metre indoor waterfall – the tallest in the world. This will be the centrepiece of a brand new wing called Jewel Changi Airport. The extension is a 134,000-square-metre glass dome that will house indoor gardens, shops and leisure attractions.
Food & Beverage
I often choose hotels based on their breakfast buffet and the one at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport is a cracker. Azur is open from 6am to 10pm every day to cater for all the different timezones and flight arrival times. It has an extensive menu of Asian and western cuisines. You can either graze at the buffet or order al-la-carte meals.
The Lobby Lounge is the place for a quick refuel. It serves cakes, pastries, muffins and croissants. If you have a little longer, you can do high tea.